The History and Science Behind Lens Flares and How They Are Used in Movies

Vox explains the history and science behind lens flares and how they are used in movies. Although they are very popular in modern cinema, lens flares used to be considered a mistake that cinematographers had to avoid.

Aesthetically, trends have shifted from masking flare to embracing it. Once Cool Hand Luke and other ’60s movies broke the unwritten rule against flare, it quickly spread from the art house to the entire Hollywood galaxy, encompassing everything from action movies like Die Hard to sci-fi films like Planet of the Apes and onward.